At the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit that took place earlier this year, the Rockefeller Foundation announced a $100 million commitment to the Global Resilience Partnership, an effort that joins Rockefeller with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA). The partnership “…lays out a bold new vision for building resilience to chronic stresses and increasing shocks in communities across Africa and Asia,” and it looks like Rockefeller is launching this work in a big way with a massive $18.7 million grant to KPMG East Africa.
For the most part, KPMG provides professional audit, tax, and advisory services, but its International Development Advisory Services Unit (IDAS) also provides development advisory work in Africa. To that end, KPMG IDAS coordinates development projects throughout the continent. Rockefeller’s $18.7 million grant will support KPMGs efforts in mobilizing operational functions for the Global Resilience Partnership.
The overall goal of the partnership is to prepare some of the most vulnerable regions of the world for both man-made and natural chronic stresses such as extreme poverty, food insecurity, natural disasters, and climate shocks. The Global Resilience Partnership is looking to scale innovative solutions to resilience in Sahel, Horn of Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.
In Sahel and the Horn of Africa, the partnership is focusing its efforts on the over 20 million people who face food insecurity due to droughts. In South and Southeast Asia, the focus will be on the over 400 million people who are expected to at risk from flooding by the year 2025.
Like Rockefeller, USAID has also been paying close attention to the importance of building global resilience. In 2012, it published "Building Resilience to Recurrent Crisis," which lays out the framework for promoting long-term resilience and recovery solutions in regions of the world that are most susceptible to chronic stresses and shocks.
Earlier this year the partnership launched the Global Resilience Design Challenge, which selected 16 teams around the globe offering innovative plans and ideas to address climate and population change. The selected teams are eligible to receive additional funding of up to $1 million to advance their projects.
Over past the few decades, the number of recurrent disasters has increased threefold and the resulting losses have jumped by 300 percent. So it makes sense that the international development community has been shining a brighter spotlight on the importance of building resilience to chronic stresses in vulnerable populations. Of course, for Rockefeller, building global resilience has become an overriding mission.